US orders new troops to Middle East

US President Donald Trump says the deployment of 1,500 additional troops to the Middle East is a “protective” move

Washington (AFP) – The United States said it was deploying 1,500 additional troops to the Middle East to counter “credible threats” from Iran in a move denounced by Tehran on Saturday as “a threat to international peace”. “Increased US presence in our region is very dangerous and a threat to international peace and security and must be confronted,” Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif told the official IRNA news agency. The escalation of the US military presence follows a decision in early May to send an aircraft carrier strike force and B-52 bombers in a show of force against what Washington’s leaders believed was an imminent Iranian plan to attack US assets. And it comes as the Trump administration is planning to bypass congressional restrictions to sell arms to Saudi Arabia, a close US ally and Iran’s arch-enemy in the region. “This is a prudent response to credible threats from Iran,” acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan said Friday.

President Donald Trump, who approved the deployment, called it “protective.”